FRIAR'S BALSAM or compound benzoin tincture is categorized in USP XVII as a protectant.1 It has been used externally in lotions for chapped hands, internally as an expectorant,2 and by steam inhalation for croup.3 Its action by steam inhalation in a recommended dose of one teaspoonful to a cup of boiling water and the vapor inhaled, was investigated in the project herein reported. If a child weighing 22 lb (10 kg) were placed in a room of 15,000-liter capacity with this amount of vaporized Friar's balsam, it may be calculated that the dose to which the child is exposed would be of the order of 0.01 to 0.02 ml/kg/hour with many factors influencing the "dose." Beginning with a dose of 0.01 ml/kg, Friar's balsam was administered by steam inhalation to rabbits, and its effect on the output and composition of respiratory tract fluid was measured.
BOYD EM, SHEPPARD EP. Friar's Balsam and Respiratory Tract Fluid. Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(6):630–634. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090090102009
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